One synth EP Challenge (No competition or prizes - just for fun)

Great fun, great prizes! Good luck!
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Ahornberg
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Post 05 Nov 2017

Auryn wrote:
05 Nov 2017
Ahornberg wrote:
05 Nov 2017
Wow! Love that merry-go-round sound, right for a scary movie :o
Hey thanks, that's nice to hear! Are you talking about the last track in particular?
Yes, especially the last one :thumbs_up:

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Auryn
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Post 05 Nov 2017

Ahornberg wrote:
05 Nov 2017
Yes, especially the last one :thumbs_up:
Cool, thanks, that one's my favourite too I think... It's basically just 20 Oberons and a kick drum synth, no EQ, FX or verb. It just about maxes out my CPU like this (Oberon is pretty economical CPU-wise). I was pretty surprised at how the all patches seem to harmonize into this bizarre orchestra-like sound.
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TritoneAddiction
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Post 08 Nov 2017

So I've decided to give Soundirons new instruments, Klang, Pangea and Humana a chance.

It's weird, I was sure I was gonna dive straight into Europa and Grain as soon as I've upgraded. They just seem like the obvious choices. But at the moment I just don't feel like diving into more synths.
As usual it seems like I'm drawn to simplicity and these devices couldn't be simpler. But also working with these more organic sample based sounds will most likely make me come up with something different compared to making synth driven tracks.

Maybe I'm breaking my own rules here for this thread but I'm gonna treat these new Soundiron instruments as one instrument, since they all work the same way and are based around the "sampled organic instruments" theme. After going through the sounds in each I just think that choosing one of them would be too limiting and boring to work with.
So my new challenge is to use the soundiron instruments Klang, Pangea and Humana and make some sort of EP with them. No other samples except the ones in those instruments. Just the fact that I'm not gonna use any drum samples will make this a very different project compared to my others. I actually have no idea what I'll come up with.

Deadline: Feb 8.

That's 3 months. That should be enough for at least 3 tracks.

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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 10 Nov 2017

TritoneAddiction wrote:
08 Nov 2017
So I've decided to give Soundirons new instruments, Klang, Pangea and Humana a chance.

It's weird, I was sure I was gonna dive straight into Europa and Grain as soon as I've upgraded. They just seem like the obvious choices. But at the moment I just don't feel like diving into more synths.
As usual it seems like I'm drawn to simplicity and these devices couldn't be simpler. But also working with these more organic sample based sounds will most likely make me come up with something different compared to making synth driven tracks.

Maybe I'm breaking my own rules here for this thread but I'm gonna treat these new Soundiron instruments as one instrument, since they all work the same way and are based around the "sampled organic instruments" theme. After going through the sounds in each I just think that choosing one of them would be too limiting and boring to work with.
So my new challenge is to use the soundiron instruments Klang, Pangea and Humana and make some sort of EP with them. No other samples except the ones in those instruments. Just the fact that I'm not gonna use any drum samples will make this a very different project compared to my others. I actually have no idea what I'll come up with.

Deadline: Feb 8.

That's 3 months. That should be enough for at least 3 tracks.
I was thinking about using one or all of them also!!! :oops: Would it be lame if I did the same? :lol:

I love all three, and welcome them to the rack. I'm kind of disappointed by the lack of round robin samples, especially on Humana. That's one thing that drives me crazy about most refills or sample libraries: violin or trumpet staccato machine gun effect. In 2017, I can't believe it's not standard practice to have round robin sampling, especially for instruments that benefit the most from it. But I digress.

I really look forward to hearing what you come up with. I love your sense of melody, so I'm very interested to hear your composition style with those three instruments. And you can break your own rules.

Speaking of rules, it was never mentioned whether or not we could use drums and or other instruments/vocals as part of the 'creative restrictions' of the concept behind this thread. With nanoBots, I just went ahead with the usual Reasonistas hosted song challenge rules here on ReasonTalk, which allows percussion, and other exceptions like vocals or guitar (unless it's Rob Papen's Guitar Re ofc).

I always approached it as though using the synth for percussion duties, especially if it's not particularly suited to it, as a bonus or icing on the cake. However, sometimes the song just doesn't work without supplemental drums or percussion, or at least I can't make it work I should say.

Anyway, can't wait for the EP!

P.S. I'm currently working on my JPSHS EP, so that's got me busy now

TritoneAddiction
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Post 11 Nov 2017

TheGodOfRainbows wrote:
10 Nov 2017
TritoneAddiction wrote:
08 Nov 2017
So I've decided to give Soundirons new instruments, Klang, Pangea and Humana a chance.

It's weird, I was sure I was gonna dive straight into Europa and Grain as soon as I've upgraded. They just seem like the obvious choices. But at the moment I just don't feel like diving into more synths.
As usual it seems like I'm drawn to simplicity and these devices couldn't be simpler. But also working with these more organic sample based sounds will most likely make me come up with something different compared to making synth driven tracks.

Maybe I'm breaking my own rules here for this thread but I'm gonna treat these new Soundiron instruments as one instrument, since they all work the same way and are based around the "sampled organic instruments" theme. After going through the sounds in each I just think that choosing one of them would be too limiting and boring to work with.
So my new challenge is to use the soundiron instruments Klang, Pangea and Humana and make some sort of EP with them. No other samples except the ones in those instruments. Just the fact that I'm not gonna use any drum samples will make this a very different project compared to my others. I actually have no idea what I'll come up with.

Deadline: Feb 8.

That's 3 months. That should be enough for at least 3 tracks.
I was thinking about using one or all of them also!!! :oops: Would it be lame if I did the same? :lol:

I love all three, and welcome them to the rack. I'm kind of disappointed by the lack of round robin samples, especially on Humana. That's one thing that drives me crazy about most refills or sample libraries: violin or trumpet staccato machine gun effect. In 2017, I can't believe it's not standard practice to have round robin sampling, especially for instruments that benefit the most from it. But I digress.

I really look forward to hearing what you come up with. I love your sense of melody, so I'm very interested to hear your composition style with those three instruments. And you can break your own rules.

Speaking of rules, it was never mentioned whether or not we could use drums and or other instruments/vocals as part of the 'creative restrictions' of the concept behind this thread. With nanoBots, I just went ahead with the usual Reasonistas hosted song challenge rules here on ReasonTalk, which allows percussion, and other exceptions like vocals or guitar (unless it's Rob Papen's Guitar Re ofc).

I always approached it as though using the synth for percussion duties, especially if it's not particularly suited to it, as a bonus or icing on the cake. However, sometimes the song just doesn't work without supplemental drums or percussion, or at least I can't make it work I should say.

Anyway, can't wait for the EP!

P.S. I'm currently working on my JPSHS EP, so that's got me busy now
No go ahead and do the same. It would just be interesting to hear the differences between our writing. To be honest I have no idea how much of my usual melodic style will happen for this project anyway. So far the little bit I have written sounds more like some sort of background soundtrack to a movie or something, not like anything I usually write. But we'll see. A million things can happen on the way.

I agree about the round robin thing. These instruments would definitely benefit from more samples and velocity takes. It's mostly the reason why I didn't like Layers. That sound you get from playing the exact same sample over and over again just doesn't sound as good imo, even for synth sounds.

I'm not gonna be a dictator about the rules and I haven't even thought about the details myself. The main purpose of this thread is just to inspire more music making so if someone wants to add some vocal/guitar recording, then go ahead.
I used drum samples for most of my songs for these EP challenges. The only drum sample free ones were the Chip64 EP and 2 tracks from my Legend project.

Good luck with the JPS Harmonic Synthesizer EP. Looking forward to hearing it.

TritoneAddiction
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Post 25 Nov 2017

Here's another Legend track. I started this track months ago but I just got the discipline to finish it.
It's a simple tune with a simple arrangement. No drums or samples. All Legend, including delays and revebs.


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miscend
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Post 29 Nov 2017

I’m going to do two one synth EPs before the end of the year. Starting with ReSpire then either Antidote or the Legend. Will post the ReSpire EP by tomorrow. It’s gonna be all ReSpire apart from drums and effects.

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ravisoni
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Post 30 Nov 2017

Just an update, I haven't given up on my Lithium. 2 tracks are half done, think I'll keep it at 2 though for this EP.
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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 30 Nov 2017

miscend wrote:
29 Nov 2017
I’m going to do two one synth EPs before the end of the year. Starting with ReSpire then either Antidote or the Legend. Will post the ReSpire EP by tomorrow. It’s gonna be all ReSpire apart from drums and effects.
I look forward to it!

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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 30 Nov 2017

ravisoni wrote:
30 Nov 2017
Just an update, I haven't given up on my Lithium. 2 tracks are half done, think I'll keep it at 2 though for this EP.
That's a neat little synth. I have it, but have neglected it. I'll be waiting!

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miscend
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Post 01 Dec 2017

When I first started late on Monday evening I had no goals in particular apart from the fact that I wanted to use Respire for everything and then post this in the One synth EP Challenge. I had three hear complete songs by Tuesday and have decided to name this The Respire EP. The songs are all made almost entirely with ReSpire apart from drums and effects.


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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 06 Dec 2017

miscend wrote:
01 Dec 2017
When I first started late on Monday evening I had no goals in particular apart from the fact that I wanted to use Respire for everything and then post this in the One synth EP Challenge. I had three hear complete songs by Tuesday and have decided to name this The Respire EP. The songs are all made almost entirely with ReSpire apart from drums and effects.

Listening now. Sounds great!!

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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 06 Dec 2017

miscend wrote:
01 Dec 2017
When I first started late on Monday evening I had no goals in particular apart from the fact that I wanted to use Respire for everything and then post this in the One synth EP Challenge. I had three hear complete songs by Tuesday and have decided to name this The Respire EP. The songs are all made almost entirely with ReSpire apart from drums and effects.

I love it! :thumbs_up: I don't know if you set out for it to have an 80's sound, but it feels 80's to me, and also modern. I love the sound of retro and modern combined. All three songs really complement each other and make a nice cohesive EP. I love the mood and vibe of these songs, and I like that stringy sounding lead on Dragon, especially. The beats are good too. Also the mix is nice. Sounds like it was recorded on tape, and is fat and saturated. Good job! :puf_smile:

P.S. Sorry for slow response. Sometimes I go off into the mountains to meditate and forget who and what I am and how to get home.

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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 10 Dec 2017

Ok, about when I said this time, :oops: I would stand by the guidelines, and deliver by set deadline. :mrgreen: It's happening again. The more time I spend working on the EP, I feel like since I've put this much time in, I might as well go all out and make a full length LP. Although this time, I won't be as late as I was with nanoBots. And it will be shorter (about 30 minutes instead of 42 minutes), and fewer tracks (10 not 14)

So in that respect, I've become more disciplined. But once the song writing phase is over, I'm burned out, and I still have to mix and master. What I'm learning about myself, that after about one month of working on anything, I start running out of steam, and the amount of work I put in from this point on will have diminishing returns the longer it takes me to complete. Therefore, I will continue to adhere, at least loosely, to a time table and deadline for future records.

Anyway, get out your rotten vegetables I'm ready, no hard feelings. When will I finish? Absolutely before the end of December. I'm getting side tracked with another project, AND the ReasonTalk Winter song challenge!!! Although I don't know if I'll have anything ready for that in time.

TritoneAddiction
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Post 10 Dec 2017

TheGodOfRainbows wrote:
10 Dec 2017
Ok, about when I said this time, :oops: I would stand by the guidelines, and deliver by set deadline. :mrgreen: It's happening again. The more time I spend working on the EP, I feel like since I've put this much time in, I might as well go all out and make a full length LP. Although this time, I won't be as late as I was with nanoBots. And it will be shorter (about 30 minutes instead of 42 minutes), and fewer tracks (10 not 14)

So in that respect, I've become more disciplined. But once the song writing phase is over, I'm burned out, and I still have to mix and master. What I'm learning about myself, that after about one month of working on anything, I start running out of steam, and the amount of work I put in from this point on will have diminishing returns the longer it takes me to complete. Therefore, I will continue to adhere, at least loosely, to a time table and deadline for future records.

Anyway, get out your rotten vegetables I'm ready, no hard feelings. When will I finish? Absolutely before the end of December. I'm getting side tracked with another project, AND the ReasonTalk Winter song challenge!!! Although I don't know if I'll have anything ready for that in time.
That's ok. Seems like we are two of the few that are still hanging on to these one synth projects. Go for the album if that's what feels right. I understand that takes time. I actually have no idea how you have the energy to take on such a big project so soon after you just released a full album. But I'm sure you'll do a great job since your last one was really good.

I'm also getting side tracked with the winter song challenge. It would be a bummer to miss out on that one. So my Soundiron project will have to wait a little. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it in time anyway.

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Auryn
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Post 10 Dec 2017

TheGodOfRainbows wrote:
10 Dec 2017
Ok, about when I said this time, :oops: I would stand by the guidelines, and deliver by set deadline. :mrgreen: It's happening again. The more time I spend working on the EP, I feel like since I've put this much time in, I might as well go all out and make a full length LP. Although this time, I won't be as late as I was with nanoBots. And it will be shorter (about 30 minutes instead of 42 minutes), and fewer tracks (10 not 14)

So in that respect, I've become more disciplined. But once the song writing phase is over, I'm burned out, and I still have to mix and master. What I'm learning about myself, that after about one month of working on anything, I start running out of steam, and the amount of work I put in from this point on will have diminishing returns the longer it takes me to complete. Therefore, I will continue to adhere, at least loosely, to a time table and deadline for future records.

Anyway, get out your rotten vegetables I'm ready, no hard feelings. When will I finish? Absolutely before the end of December. I'm getting side tracked with another project, AND the ReasonTalk Winter song challenge!!! Although I don't know if I'll have anything ready for that in time.
Sounds great, really varied... mind if I ask what synth you're focusing on this time?
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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 12 Dec 2017

TritoneAddiction wrote:
10 Dec 2017
That's ok. Seems like we are two of the few that are still hanging on to these one synth projects. Go for the album if that's what feels right. I understand that takes time. I actually have no idea how you have the energy to take on such a big project so soon after you just released a full album. But I'm sure you'll do a great job since your last one was really good.

I'm also getting side tracked with the winter song challenge. It would be a bummer to miss out on that one. So my Soundiron project will have to wait a little. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it in time anyway.
I've said before that this thread gave me the impetus to focus and complete something, so thanks again for that. After spending time on ReasonTalk and SoundCloud, listening to your music among others, and realized I need to build up a body of work. I'm way too slow at producing tracks, at least compared to your and others rate. So I feel the need to cram a bit and speed things up. That's why I'm working faster.

I am burned out! That's why I have to put a hold on Monsters & Clowns JPS Harmonic Synthesizer EP/LP. I've hit that wall of diminishing returns from hours put in. Also, thanks for complements. :puf_smile:

So I have to get my mind on something else, like the Winter Song Challenge. BTW, how is everyone doing on that? Evoking that "wintery" feel is the real challenge. I have no idea if what I think sounds wintery will sound wintery to anyone else. :mrgreen: :puf_unhappy:

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jayhosking
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Post 12 Dec 2017

I also wanted to say that, while I can't commit to using only one synth, this thread has been really inspiring for my productivity, even when I'm super busy in the rest of my life. So there might be others out there like me that are glad you're doing this, even if we're not contributing here.

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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 21 Dec 2017

Auryn wrote:
10 Dec 2017
Sounds great, really varied... mind if I ask what synth you're focusing on this time?
Again, sorry for late response. And thanks for the complement. I'm using the JPSHS (Jiggery-Pokery Sound Harmonic Synthesizer) for this album. I really like using these retro digital synths. Don't know why, but it's my thing lately.

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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 22 Dec 2017

jayhosking wrote:
12 Dec 2017
I also wanted to say that, while I can't commit to using only one synth, this thread has been really inspiring for my productivity, even when I'm super busy in the rest of my life. So there might be others out there like me that are glad you're doing this, even if we're not contributing here.
Good to hear! :D I just quick listened to your bandcamp and it sounds really good. I love "We're Living On A Sphere Of Time" among others. "Buddy" is beautiful. Added to wishlist.

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jayhosking
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Post 22 Dec 2017

TheGodOfRainbows wrote:
22 Dec 2017
Good to hear! :D I just quick listened to your bandcamp and it sounds really good. I love "We're Living On A Sphere Of Time" among others. "Buddy" is beautiful. Added to wishlist.
Hey thanks! I really appreciate it. And likewise, there's been a lot of great music throughout this thread (and on the ReasonTalk board, in general). It's really inspiring to hear what people are doing with Reason!

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MannequinRaces
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Post 23 Dec 2017

Monsters & Clowns preview was great TheGodOfRainbows!! This thread is super inspiring. I'm currently working on two Legend based songs but don't want to commit to a full EP quite yet but this thread is really helping me focus on using one synth and getting things done! :)

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ravisoni
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Post 23 Dec 2017

Short story: EP complete, tracks below.

Long story:
So I'm kinda tired of trying to advance these tracks. I realized I was frustrating myself more than it was worth trying to get the synth, string and other choir sounds out of the Lithium. Synth design is simply not my thing, I'm more of a preset browser. I need sounds, and I need them now --
designing them is a chore I'm probably never going to indulge in again. Problem is I am bad with melodies as it is, and adding on this extra challenge of designing the synth for a particular sound is, well, a walk through many hours of colorful language. Figured it was probably best to call it a day.

That said, I am going to continue with Liquim North and Liquim Midworld outside of this challenge. I see good potential in them and will share the tracks once they are complete. For now, enjoy the 3 (Liquim Vole had non-Lithium elements) 2 tracks below from my very first EP - Liquim! (Most sounds you hear are Lithium presets, and those which were combis, I made sure to remove any other synths comboed in the combi; there's some modulated vocals, too).

PS: Most importantly, what this challenge has done for me is made me understand my limitations and the type of music enthusiast that I am. The lessons I learned through the many hours put in will help me be more efficient with my work in the future, and so thank you to all who have continuously submitted and kept the thread going. Like many others have mentioned, even though this many not be our cuppa, it certainly is one of the most motivating threads to get on with music making (and yes, now I can say I finished a couple songs in 2017). Thanks again, all!

Soundcloud set:
:reason: Reason 10 | :re: Preset Browser | :refill: Refill Hoarder

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TheGodOfRainbows
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Post 23 Dec 2017

ravisoni wrote:
23 Dec 2017
Short story: EP complete, tracks below.

Long story:
So I'm kinda tired of trying to advance these tracks. I realized I was frustrating myself more than it was worth trying to get the synth, string and other choir sounds out of the Lithium. Synth design is simply not my thing, I'm more of a preset browser. I need sounds, and I need them now -- designing them is a chore I'm probably never going to indulge in again. Problem is I am bad with melodies as it is, and adding on this extra challenge of designing the synth for a particular sound is, well, a walk through many hours of colorful language. Figured it was probably best to call it a day.

That said, I am going to continue with Liquim North and Liquim Midworld outside of this challenge. I see good potential in them and will share the tracks once they are complete. For now, enjoy the 3 (Liquim Vole had non-Lithium elements) 2 tracks below from my very first EP - Liquim! (Most sounds you hear are Lithium presets, and those which were combis, I made sure to remove any other synths comboed in the combi; there's some modulated vocals, too).

PS: Most importantly, what this challenge has done for me is made me understand my limitations and the type of music enthusiast that I am. The lessons I learned through the many hours put in will help me be more efficient with my work in the future, and so thank you to all who have continuously submitted and kept the thread going. Like many others have mentioned, even though this many not be our cuppa, it certainly is one of the most motivating threads to get on with music making (and yes, now I can say I finished a couple songs in 2017). Thanks again, all!

Soundcloud set:
Sounds nice so far! I like Liquim North. :)

I am also a preset browser person :oops: Don't be ashamed! The whole point is to make music. I need good presets, but I do like to modulate and tweak them beyond recognition. I've started to figure out some ways using from subtle to extreme eq shaping to really change the timbre and voice of a patch to something I'm trying to emulate or replicate. For example, you mentioned you were frustrated trying to get string and choir sounds out of the Lithium. I've found that adding chorus (maybe unison) of varying amounts can make a patch/preset sound more like a choir of voices. I'll post a before and after example of what I mean later.

If you're getting frustrated, it might mean that you are actually getting close to understanding the whole process of sound design and song writing more than you realize. Don't give up. I don't really know what I'm doing music theory-wise, but I keep chipping away at it and learning more, slowly but surely.

About limiting oneself to a single sound source for creating an entire EP or more, I do think that to some extent you have to get into sound design, especially if you don't want all your songs to sound like they all came from the same synth. Sticking with the rule of one synth has taught me alot about continuously modulating any and all available parameters on the synth to keep things sounding dynamic, and using EQ and compression creatively, as well as using various effects like chorus and saturation. Btw, the eq'ing, compression and effects using for sound shaping can be either onboard the synth if available, or using the Reason mixer and any and all available effects. I use them ALL!!!

Don't give up on your project. What you have now sounds good. Keep it up. And finish, at some point. :mrgreen:
Last edited by TheGodOfRainbows on 25 Dec 2017, edited 1 time in total.

teddymcw
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Post 24 Dec 2017

ravisoni wrote:
23 Dec 2017
Short story: EP complete, tracks below.

Wow, great stuff. Beautiful and interesting sounding, thanks for sharing. I did keep wanting the bass and sub bass to drop on the first track but I'm also not here to backseat produce or critique a creation that is more wonderful than I could bestow. Please do make more, it was a pleasure.

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